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Monday, March 7, 2011

The Medium is the Maker. Letter to Julian...

Dear Julian,

The Medium is the Maker --yes, in the simplest terms, TV commercials are propaganda

 Back in the 1928, Edward Bernays wrote 

“We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.”  

A little over the top?  Not really.   Bernays and his ideas caught on.  They permitted marketers to convince American society that a woman could not be a real woman unless she smoked.  A few years before a cigarette dangling from her lips would have marked a woman as a whore  --but  suddenly it was a mark of education and sophistication.  And this “triumph of advertising” was accomplished without television or the internet!

On the other hand, it could not have been achieved without advances in photography, printing, paper making – and of course – radio.  The combination of photographic images and voice provided an illusion of immediacy that had huge emotional – and emotive – impact.

Impact is the key. It aint what you think – it’s what you feel.  

Marketers know that you are an animal before you are “human”.  “Thought”  is a recent addition to the cortex – in computer terms – a kind of buggy add-on to the browser we call a brain, most of whose mechanisms we don’t understand.  Logic, reason, and the like constitute a kind of interface.  It all changes with a bit of fiddling with the operating code.

That’s why people in the US and Canada and elsewhere routinely elect governments that act against their real interests.  Logically – it’s crazy.  But the Medium is not just a Maker -- it is the Maker – which means your Maker –or maybe your Re-Maker.  Technological marketing  (aka propaganda) programs and re-programs your codes -- your "self"  using emotion as energy.

Ah, but I can choose you say!  

So often you will hear :  “You choose” or “you decide”.    But how do you choose?  On what basis?
 Oh information?  There is so much of that out there . Then,   which is correct?  Ah…a feeling?  You believe x, y, z?  
Descartes wrote, cogito ergo sum – “I think there I am”

But the French philosopher Merleau Ponty is more up to date. “I see, there I think there I am”. Americans like to say (proudly), "what you see is what you get".  Exactly.  And the Mass Media determine what you see.

Julian -- we are all in deep shit.

A comment by The Oracle

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